He told Newsday last week: “Always in the back of my mind was why Roots just dissipated without fanfare and I always thought of a Roots reunion because I really think we have to do the farewell party right. It’s always been there hanging.
“To me this is the chance to really have a well produced show, showing the journey of the band, the contribution the band has made to this country and how it changed the face of music in Trinidad.”
That reunion is scheduled to come off on February 18, Under the Trees at The Normandie in St Ann’s from 8.30 pm.
Rudders explained that before the emergence of Roots, local music bands used to play a lot of R&B and reggae music
“We used to get a lot of trouble just to play because we used to play pure kaiso and soca but I lived to see today how all bands are doing that now because of the persistence and people realising now that this is our music, and throwing in one last kaiso in the fete just wouldn’t work,” said Rudder.
Rudder said one of the reasons why Roots was one of the most sought after bands up to the end was because they still would play “foundation music”.
At the reunion show patrons will hear songs from 1975, when the band started as Sensational Roots, including compositions by the late Maestro, Rose, Rajah, Superblue and just about everyone who was part of Roots.
Pelham Goddard, perhaps best known as musical director /arranger of the phenomenal soca band known as Charlie’s Roots, produced some of the finest musicians in the genre and introduced TT to the extraordinary vocals of Christopher “Tambu” Herbert and David Michael Rudder.
In 1975, Goddard formed Sensational Roots, initially as an in-house band for K. Studios and back-up band to do a whistle-stop tours of island with Wildfire. Singer Mavis John was also on that tour.
The following year they were the studio band when Maestro recorded the ever popular Savage as a disco 45. The band also did a remake of Kitchener’s “Drink a Rum”. Then early in the Carnival 1977 Charlie’s Roots emerged with the album Carnival Music with Charlie’s Roots. After Carnival, the late Ellis Chow Lin On, Goddard, Rawlston Charles and Holly Thomas went to Manhattan, New York, to buy the first set of equipment for the band to do road music. For Carnival 1978 the road band made its debut with Peter Minshall’s mas band.
In 1979 the band became Manhattan Charlie’s Roots due to sponsorship that lasted a few years, but eventually returned to being just Charlie’s Roots in the 1980s.
Goddard recalled: “When Roots formed all the calypsonians wanted to sing with us, so we toured with a contingent of them. Tambu and Wendy Prescott were the original vocalists but Rose and Maestro were also supposed to be lead singers. Maestro died and Rose never started.”
The original band members were Enrique Moore, Phillip Lambert, Hayden Robin, Vonrick Maynard, Anthony Voisin, Eldon Oliver, Clarence Ross, Colin Stephens, Steve Sealey, Jude Bethel and Goodard.
One member of the original band who will not be part of the reunion is former lead singer Christopher “Tambu” Herbert, who is now a gospel artiste.
“I still love my calypso music but I am trying to avoid a mid line. I’m done with that now and my vibe is off of that,” he explained.